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Janis Ian Opens About Her Interaction with Bill Cosby After 'New York Magazine' Profiles

by Carolyn Menyes   Jul 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT

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Singer Janis Ian is the latest celebrity to speak out on Bill Cosby. After New York Magazine profiled 35 of the comedian's alleged rape victims, Ian opened up about her interactions with the once-celebrated man. In a lengthy Facebook post, the "At Seventeen" singer revealed that after a performance at The Smothers Brothers Hour, Cosby tried to ban her from television because he thought she was a lesbian.

Ian revealed that she was invited to perform her controversial 1966 single "Society's Child" on The Smothers Brothers and that Cosby had been curious about her and her career career.

Then just 16 years old, Ian was accompanied to The Smothers Brothers set by a female chaperone, and due to fatigue from touring, she fell asleep in the woman's lap. That's when Cosby spotted her, and after the show her management questioned what was happening because she was banned from future TV engagements.

"A while later, my manager called me into her office. 'What happened at the Smothers Brothers show?!' I had no idea what she was talking about, and said so. 'Well, no one else on TV is willing to have you on. Not out there, anyway.' Why? I wondered. And was told that Cosby, seeing me asleep in the chaperone's lap, had made it his business to 'warn' other shows that I wasn't 'suitable family entertainment,' was probably a lesbian, and shouldn't be on television," she wrote.

She later was later invited to perform on Johnny Carson's show, despite the attempted ban.

Ian went on to comment on Cosby's rape scandal, saying that there "is a lot to bother a sensible person about this." She noted that despite women coming forward against Cosby, it took comedian Hannibal Buress to call him out before people paid attention. Ian also noted that Cosby's victims tended to be light-skinned and questioned how involved his wife was in the assaults.

Read Ian's full Facebook note on her page.

[h/t Entertainment Weekly]

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